Edgar Gonzalez is the odd man out in the Diamondbacks’ rookie-laden rotation. The team announced Gonzalez will be optioned back to Class AAA Tucson today to make room on the roster for Brandon Webb, who comes off the disabled list to start against the Cleveland Indians.
That leaves Arizona's rotation as Webb, Elmer Dessens, Andrew Good, Miguel Batista and John Patterson. Webb, Good and Patterson are rookies.
Gonzalez, 20, was the youngest player in the majors. In two starts for Arizona, he was 1-1 with a 5.73 ERA, allowing 20 hits in 11 innings. One scout said Gonzalez's pitches did not have as much sink as they did when he was in the minors.
“We were very impressed with what we saw from Edgar,” manager Bob Brenly said, “but we also feel there are some mechanical things he can correct in his delivery to make himself even better.”
Brenly mentioned a tendency to push the ball rather than keeping his hand on top of it and also spinning on his front foot.
Brenly said Chad Moeller will catch today, which would mark Moeller's first back-to-back starts since April 24-25. Rod Barajas, who had started nine of 13 games before Saturday, has six hits in his past 55 at-bats, dropping his average from .439 to .250.
“We'll start splitting it up a little bit more,” Brenly said. “We've been riding Rod pretty hard lately, and he's been doing a tremendous job behind the plate. His throws, his quickness, his blocking the balls in the dirt have saved us I don't know how many bases, let alone how many runs.
“It's time for him to take a little bit of a blow and give ‘Moe’ a chance to get back there and swing the bat a little bit.”
Moeller has a five-game hitting streak, going 7-for-15, and has hit .364 over his past 21 games.
Barajas said his slump is a product of his earlier hot streak, in which he went 12-for-20.
“When you get on a pretty good roll you tend to get a little antsy because you want to get up here, you want to hit,” Barajas said. “And you get a little overexcited and you're not getting that good pitch any more.
“You think that every pitch they can throw up there, you can hit hard. So you swing at some bad pitches.”
Center fielder Steve Finley, recovering from right hamstring cramps, sat out a third straight game Saturday.
With Finley out, Danny Bautista started in center for the first time this season and Robby Hammock played right for the second straight game. Finley was unsure if he will be able to play today.
“I want to make sure it's out of there,” Finley said. “(Friday) I might have tested it too hard.
“Usually I'm a pretty quick healer. Hamstrings are not something that I've dealt with.”
Curt Schilling, on the DL with broken bones in his right hand, had follow-up X-rays to make sure neither fracture had become displaced.
Infielder Craig Counsell, out with a torn thumb ligament, had his cast removed by hand specialist Don Sheridan. Counsell will begin therapy Monday to regain range of motion in the thumb and is still shooting for a return around the All-Star break.
Arizona signed 15th-round pick Todd Buchanan, a first baseman from Western Carolina.